Doug Rapp, CA

Senior Writer

With two decades of journalism experience, Doug Rapp has told the stories of everyone from governors to Olympic athletes to Amish farmers to a dentist who loaned out his office as a location for a low-budget zombie movie. After writing for various publications in his native Kentucky and throughout the Midwest, Doug earned a master’s in English (creative nonfiction). As a writing tutor in Chicago, he helped students tell their stories and wrote features for city and suburban websites. Now in L.A., he continues to freelance as a writer and script reader-analyst.

As a StoryTerrace writer, Doug interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Listen to Me

Bas hadra tek! Saleh taught me those words in the English as a Second Language class where I was supposed to be the one teaching new words. It’s an Egyptian Arabic idiom that loosely translates to “Listen to me!”

My low-intermediate ESL class in downtown Chicago was full of unruly Saudi teenage boys giddy with their first taste of freedom, American-style. Saleh, wearing a beanie stylishly cocked on his head to protect against the bitter Chicago winds, was sympathetic to my plight. He was the mature one who sat still and listened when I tried to explain English’s overwhelming number of irregular verbs. When I couldn’t bring order to the restless class on a particular Friday afternoon, he slyly told me to yell out Bas hadra tek! I did. Everyone stopped and listened, stunned by my sudden Arabic-language outburst.

Saleh later hid a Valentine’s card on my desk, thanking me for listening to him. I kept the card in confidence, knowing that the other guys would make fun of him if they knew he dared show vulnerability. After writing a few sincere sentences in his endearingly sloppy English handwriting, Saleh ended the card with a flourish of Arabic script, repeating those simple words we all want to say to each other, to the world: please listen to me.

Get in touch today to work with Doug!